The South African Parliament has approved legislation that will update the country’s gambling laws, although the final legislation was a watered-down version of the original proposals.
The original National Gambling Amendment Bill was taken up by the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, but significant sections of the Bill were removed, with the focus falling on three technical areas relating to the administration of South African gambling.
Under the terms of the bill, the responsibility for oversight of South African gambling will be switched from the National Gambling Board to a new group, which has been provisionally entitled the National Gambling Regulator. The Bill also facilitates changes to the structure of the National Gambling Policy Council, and creates a National Central Electronic Monitoring System that will be given the task of monitoring and reporting on gambling activity across South Africa.
The chair of the Committee, Joanmariae Fubbs said that the Bill had been stripped down to ensure that it could be passed during the existing legislative session before the current parliament’s five-year term ends in 2019. But the result is that many aspects of the Bill, which was first drawn up in 2016, have not made it into law, including the provision for controls that would block bank payments to iGaming sites, and measures relating to the regulation of bingo terminals and lotteries.
Related gambling issues, such as the decision on banning dog racing and the creation of a body that would self-regulate the horse-racing industry, have also been pushed back for discussion in the next parliament. But speaking about the implementation of the Bill in its current form, Fubbs said that it was essential to make the changes and that the new laws would create a framework for more comprehensive reforms in the future.
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